A few cool days in Santa Fe, and we’re all talking Autumn! But we’re not done with Summer yet – and we all know that Fall doesn’t come until Old Man Gloom lights up the sky.
I was in Chicago last week to curate the art at the Fest for Beatles Fans, celebrating this year 40 Fab years in the Windy City. Many fans from the first Fest, held at the Palmer House (1977), came to dance and sing with the newbies. I arrived early to help with the setup of the show. My special job is to create the Art Room, which houses the art contest for fan artists - professional, amateur and kids. These artistic contributions delight the fans who vote on the pieces they like best.
This year, being the 50th anniversary of the release of the Revolver album, we created a giant-sized “Revolver” collage. Fans needed no prompting – they cut and pasted scraps and developed, bit by bit, something entirely new.
One of our artists who submits wildly creative projects every year, brought in something special. Nicole Nigh took 8 months to limn a 48” x 48” reproduction of the album cover in pen and ink, but she made each penstroke a letter, which formed the lyrics of the album. I have included close-ups of the detail. Klaus Voorman, a friend of the Beatles during their Hamburg period, and the creator of the original Revolver art, was at the Fest to promote his book (stunning, by the way… I want one). I was not going to let this opportunity pass by and invited him into the Art Room to see Nicole’s work. He was amazed. He got misty when I pointed out his signature, refashioned with lyric letters. Truly an impressive effort.
And of course, On Sunday of the Fest when the art contest winners are brought to the stage, the Revolver cover was front and center. Bravo to all the participating Beatles artists!
The Poetry Jam was held on Saturday night, and in addition to the readings of original Beatles themed poems, we were treated to a spirited recreation of the 1966 Chicago Beatles Press Conference. This was the occasion when John Lennon was expected to apologize for words taken out of context. My cohorts Walter J. L. Podrazik and Victoria Pichla Luz were key players in this event.
We are looking forward to the next Fest – next year marks the anniversary of the Summer of Love.
Chicago means many things: pizza, for sure, and I got my fair share. I got to Wrigley Field twice (for Cubs wins natch), and a river cruise to taken in the architectural beauties of my old home town, and a bike ride all around the greenly graceful Morton Arboretum. I enjoyed the generosity and hospitality of family and friends, and I wish I had more time to see everyone. Next time!
But I had to return to Santa Fe and continue on with more art projects. The whimsical portrait “Mr. Googly Eyes” is nearly complete, and I started a new landscape, inspired by the view out of the shuttle window on the ride from ABQ to Santa Fe. The monsoons have brought green to life to the desert – so much so, I had to use a machete to get to my door.
I am preparing more projects to work on at the Market. This Sunday, I will be working on autumnal pieces. See you there.
Love and Peace.
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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